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Thursday, June 26, 2014 12:01 am

Music galore

Square of the Roots celebrates the release of Common Heritage, Sat., June 28, 9 p.m. at the Tin Can Pub with special guests, Johnny and the Two Gs.

 

As we wrap up the last weekend in June 2104 (just so you know how fast we’re spinning), the bands are back and the bars (and other venues) are booming. Let’s take a look-see.

Back in the early ’90s, the Suns of Circumstance ruled the bar-waves as one of the best grooving bands around. They jammed some Dead, knocked the Allman Brothers out of the park and riffed on all kinds of cool covers no one else touched. The band continues to play today, always fronted by Mike Burnett as the constant Sun, with many a kick-butt musician claiming to be a Suns of Circumstance through the years. You can catch Cowboy Bob Berning on electric lead guitar – a mainstay for much of the band’s existence – with the band at Frankie’s on the Boulevard (Town and Country Mall complex) this Friday from 7 to 11. Mike organized a bit of a SoC reunion with special guests popping in, so take yourself back in time and go groovin’ with the Suns.

Square of the Roots, an electric and acoustic original and cover band featuring the father/son duo of Brian and Mike Steinhauer play the Tin Can Pub on Saturday, for a special CD/EP release party. Also in the band and on the CD are Ryan Pulver (bass), Tim “Hawkeye” Kane (harmonica) and Joshua Parr (fiddle), with John Turner joining in live on the drums. Brian sings and plays guitar and mandolin, plus wrote the four songs featured on the recording. He also uses the Boxerine, built as a percussive stomp box with an attached tambourine by dear old dad. The good Rev. Michael Steinhauer (yeah, that’s Dad), plays the Dobro and sings. Johnny and the Two Gs open (John Brillhart with Geoff Ryan and Gary Fifer) for a super night of good acoustic music. Brian’s pal Stanley Bly did the amazing cover art for their CD Common Heritage, reflecting Brian’s determined belief to, “create something which will enable new fresh life to grow out of this forsaken world, help it to heal, and bring beauty to it.”

I do love my sweet potatoes, either direct from the garden or on stage as an extraordinary band. The husband/wife duo of Rick and Laura Hall are joined by Kelly Macleod as an LA-based, Americana group known as The Sweet Potatoes. Among many other career highlights – Laura played improv piano for TV’s “Who’s Line is it Anyway?,” Kelly recorded for Warner Brothers with Eddie Van Halen as producer and Rick, who grew up in Greene County, Illinois and attended MacMurray College, appeared in numerous commercials, shows and films. On Saturday evening, they’ll perform a concert with some Sweet Potatoes music, faith music and Rick’s storytelling at the First Christian Church on Sixth and Cook. Yummy yams.

Walnut Street Winery is hopping this weekend with the always entertaining and fantastically talented Barry Cloyd on Friday night, 7 to 11 p.m. Barry does it all from covers to originals on a variety of instruments, and he does it stunningly well. Mitch Goudy takes the stage on Saturday, then on Sunday come on out for the fourth annual Triple B Fest with blues, brats and bocce ball (that could be considered a quadruple b) with the fabulous Dan Rivero Trio in the afternoon and the stupendous Porkpie and the Northend Allstars in the evening. What a treat!

A Jason Eklund sighting comes into focus on Friday at the Butternut Hut and Sunday at the Brewhaus. The legendary Flying Fish recording artist and itinerant, brilliant songwriter stops by to share new songs, tear up on the old ones and celebrate life to its fullest.

Well if that don’t beat all, I don’t know what would.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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